SatCon Powergate Inverters Power NJ Solar-Electric System

November 15, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

SatCon Technology Corp. (Cambridge, MA), a developer of power control electronics and motors for alternative energy, announced that two of its utility-grade Powergate® solar inverters are being utilized as the power-conditioning units for a new 502 kW solar-electric system installed at New Jersey American Water's Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, NJ. The SatCon PowerGate Series AE-PV inverters convert dc power from the solar array into ac power and connect to the grid at 4160 V, enhancing the efficiency of the overall system. The PowerGate's high efficiencies enable the site to generate more power, reducing the payback period for the customer.

The 502 kW ground-mounted system was designed and built by Dome-Tech Solar Inc., a solar energy firm serving industrial and institutional clients in the Northeast. The system also includes more than 2,800 solar panels manufactured by SCHOTT Solar Inc. and was officially activated in ceremonies at the site on October 11, 2005. New Jersey American Water expects it will be able to supplement 15 percent of the peak usage power needed to run the plant with solar energy, and save New Jersey American Water approximately $115,000 a year in energy costs. During peak production periods, the electricity produced by the solar system would be enough to meet the average electricity demand of more than 500 New Jersey homes.

"We are pleased to have been selected to provide the power-conditioning units for this project," stated SatCon Technology President and Chief Operating Officer Millard Firebaugh. "The PowerGate is a proven, high-quality product and is performing exceptionally well in many systems like this around the country."